House Dems move to block progress on healthcare bill after debate shutdown

Democrats earlier this year staged a two-hour filibuster against a House Republican bill to repeal last year's healthcare bill; today's effort was similar and lasted about as long. By about 6 p.m., the presiding officer moved to cut off debate and proceed to other amendments, which drew opposition from Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).

"So the chair is deciding … that this is the propitious moment to cut off debate, early in the evening, when we have plenty of work to do and members seek to speak and offer amendments?" Weiner asked. "Is this the chair deciding arbitrarily, or was she given guidance to do this by the Republican leadership, who don't want to hear any more critique of their plans to end Medicare?

"The chair is exercising her prerogative to resume proceedings at any time," the presiding officer answered.

Weiner then moved that the Committee of the Whole rise, which would have, if successful, stopped the House from continuing consideration of amendments to H.R. 1216. That bill would reduce federal funding for graduate-level medical education funding.

Weiner's procedural move failed, however, as the House voted not to rise by a 14-397 vote.

— This story was updated at 6:30 p.m.